Doctoral research scholarships program for foreign students (DS)


Competition year :



Deadline (application) :

November 15th, 2017, 4 PM


Amount :

From $20,000 to $60,000


Duration :

12 to 36 months


Announcement of results :

Fin avril 2018


Program rules


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The link to the FRQ electronic Portfolio (forms) will become functional only with the opening of the new FRQnet system scheduled by the end of July 2017. More details are available in the About FRQnet  section.


Important dates

  • Deadline – Presentation of proposals by the candidates to a university : See the Toolbox.
  • Deadline – Submission of the preselected applications by universities : September 22nd, 2017.
  • Deadline – Submitting application to the FRQNT for preselected candidates : November 15th, 2017 at 4 PM (coordinated universal time UTC-5 Est time zone)
  • Announcement of results : End of April 2018



The Doctoral Research Scholarships Program for Foreign Students (DS) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC) aims to stimulate international student's interest in beginning or pursuing doctoral studies in Québec and provide financial support to leading international Ph.D. candidates in the social sciences, humanities and arts and literature. The FRQSC commissioned the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT) to manage the program.


Eligibility, citizenship and residence criteria

Applicants must:

  • Meet all eligibility criteria by the competition deadline on November 15th, 2017.

  • Have been preselected by a Québec university by September 22nd, 2017.

  • Not have obtained a Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students from the mnistère de l'Education et de l'Enseignement supérieur (MEES) or from one of the Fonds de recherche du Québec.

  • Not be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

  • Not have submitted an application for permanent residence under Canadian immigration laws.

  • Can be registered in a joint program (double doctorate).

In addition to the aforementioned criteria, applicants should note the following restrictions and administrative prerequisites:

Study program restrictions:

  • The scholarship cannot be used for qualifying studies.

Eligibility criteria

Scholarship program eligibility rules account for all doctoral sessions (funded or not) completed prior to May 1st, 2018.

When calculating the eligibility period, the Fonds will consider all of the unregistered or part-time semesters for which registrar attestations are provided in the application. The applicant must verify his/her eligibility by consulting the equivalents table for unregistered or part-time semesters in the Toolbox.  

The Fonds will also consider the number of master's and doctoral semesters for which the applicant received funding from a recognized funding agency (e.g. NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC, the Fonds de recherche du Québec, etc.) to ensure that the support does not exceed 18 sessions.

Eligibility period for applicants registered in direct-entry doctoral programs (bachelor's to doctorate) and fast-track master's/doctoral programs

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program after completing their bachelor's degree and those who fast-tracked to a doctoral program without submitting a thesis may apply to the doctoral scholarships competition (DS) in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th years of their graduate studies (between their 7th and 18th study semesters). Semesters that are completed when the scholarship comes into effect will be subtracted from the funding period. Under no circumstances will funding be granted before the 7th semester or after the 18th semester.

Applicants who hold a master's degree when beginning their doctoral studies must submit their applications to the doctoral scholarships competition.

Doctoral scholarship eligibility period

Applicants are eligible for the doctoral research scholarships (DS) competition during twelve (12) consecutive semesters of their doctoral studies (or the equivalent) during their first fifteen (15) doctoral semesters. The eleventh (11th) and twelfth (12th) semesters of funding are conditional on the initial submission of the thesis before the end of the twelfth financed semester. Under no circumstances will funding be granted after an applicant's 15th doctoral program semester.

Eligibility period exceptions

Scholarship eligibility period exceptions will only be made in circumstances that are beyond the applicant's control. In such cases, all supporting documents must be submitted along with the application.

Applicants who suspend their studies for a maternity or parental leave may ask to extend their eligibility for a maximum period of 12 months per leave. In such cases, all supporting documents must be submitted along with the application.

When the applicant is a person with a disability under the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (R.S.Q. c. E-20.1), the eligibility requirements do not apply. However, the doctoral scholarship period remains the same (three years). In such cases, all supporting documents must be submitted along with the application.

The Fonds reserves the right to refuse any request that is not adequately justified.


Applicant preselection

  1. Only students who have been preselected by a Québec university may apply to the competition.
  2. Universities may support two competition applications per year.
  3. Applicant preselection is the sole responsibility of the university. Information on preselection deadlines is available in the Toolbox.
  4. The university representatives who must preselect the applicants should consult the Instructions for preselecting applicants in the Toolbox.
  5. University representatives who preselect applicants must fill out the applicant nomination form, which is available in the FRQnet website of the Fonds. The form must be submitted electronically by September 22nd, 2017, at 4 p.m.
  6. Applicants must meet all program eligibility requirements. Applications submitted by a university may be deemed ineligible by the Fonds if the applicants do not meet all program requirements.

Preselected applications may also be preselected for the Merit Scholarships for Foreign Students awarded by the ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur du Québec (MEES).


Submitting application

Preselected applicants will have to create an account in the FRQnet website. The FRQNT will then communicate with all of the preselected candidates so they can fill out an electronic  form in the FRQnet system. Applicants may consult the document: Instructions for completing an application in the Toolbox. Only the 2018-2019 competition e-forms and other required documents will be accepted. Any appendices or documents other than those required will not be transmitted to the evaluation committee.

The e-forms are only available in the secure section of the FRQnet website of the Fonds. These forms must be filled out and submitted electronically by the competition deadline on November 15th, 2017, at 4 pm (coordinated universal time UTC-5 Est time zone). Applicants will not be able to update their applications after the competition deadline. It is recommended that applicants keep a hard copy of the e-form for their personal files.

The form may be written in French or English. Applicants who submit their applications in English must provide the French translation of the project title.

IMPORTANT : Applications that do not include all required information will be deemed ineligible by the FRQNT.


Required supporting documents

Letters of reference (online)

Two letters of reference from referees should be transmitted to the program manager. To allow the referee to complete the reference letter, the candidate must enter the referee's account information in the FRQnet form. The referee will then have access to the letter through his Portfolio in the "As a referee" section.  Documents to include in the electronic form (PDF)

The documents listed below must be attached to the electronic form in the section « Other documents » of the form. The student must ensure that the documents are not protected by a password. Documents submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a translation of the original.

A copy of the identification page of the applicant's valid passport from his/her home country or any other official document that established the applicant's citizenship;

A copy of transcripts for all years of the applicant's university studies, whether they were completed or not (certificate, diploma, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, etc.). You do not have to include a copy of your diploma unless there is a grade in this document. The applicant must also provide the transcripts for any equivalencies that were granted for courses taken in other institutions or as part of other programs. Any transcripts from institutions located outside North America must include a note from the applicant explaining the marking system. The FRQNT reserves the right to verify with institutions the authenticity of any information given by applicants. The transcripts must be organized chronologically from newest to oldest;

Acknowledgements of receipt or letters from editors for articles that are submitted, accepted or in press (acknowledgements for published articles will not be transmitted to the committee);

A copy of the notifications or attestations for all awards received.

Additional document for applicants who carried out part-time or unregistered semesters since first registering for their graduate studies

If applicable, an attestation from the registrar listing any unregistered or part-time semesters.

Additional document for applicants seeking an eligibility period exception

 An official attestation of interrupted enrolment and, where applicable, a medical certificate indicating the duration and the reasons for the interruption;

For the parental leave exception, a copy of the child's birth certificate or an official document demonstrating the adoption.The FRQNT reserves the right to verify the authenticity of any information or documents given by applicants with relevant bodies.

Submitting the required documents

The candidate must send the electronic form to the Fonds before the competition deadline: November 15th, 2017.

It is the applicant's responsibility to verify that the document attached to the electronic form (PDF) includes all the required documents for the application to be considered acceptable. No document requested in the electronic form that would be sent by email or mail will be accepted.

The candidate must ensure that his referees send the letters of reference no later than the competition deadline.

Acknowledgment of receipt

In December, applicants will be informed by email of the receipt of their application. The candidate who has not received this notice should contact the program manager before December 15th, 2017.


Applications assessment

Evaluation criteria

Applications are evaluated according the following criteria and weighting:

Criteria Doctorate
Applicant's academic record 30 points
Applicant's research skills and relevant research experience 40 points
Quality and scientific interest of the project and socio-economic scope of the project, if applicable. 20 points
Social involvement, leadership and communication skills 10 points
TOTAL 100 points


Applicant's academic record

Criterion indicators:

  • Grade point average;
  • Academic progress;
  • Duration of studies;
  • Awards and prizes.

Research skills and relevant research experience

Criterion indicators:

  • Soundness of the application and research interests;
  • Applicant's experience and accomplishments;
  • Letters of reference from referees.

Quality and scientific interest of the research project

Criterion indicators:

  • Clarity of the scientific objectives;
  • Relevance of the methodology in light of the set objectives;
  • Originality of the project;
  • Project's contribution to advancing knowledge in the field;
  • Project's relevance to the research director's field.

Social involvement, leadership and communication skills

Criterion indicators:

  • Applicant's leadership skills;
  • Conference and meeting organization;
  • Positions held;
  • Volunteering;
  • Mentoring;
  • Experience in supervision;
  • Experience in knowledge transfer;
  • Project management;
  • Committee chairmanship;
  • Ability or potential to clearly and logically communicate scientific concepts;
  • Overall presentation.

Evaluation process

Role of the evaluation committee

Eligible applications will be assessed by a four-member multidisciplinary committee. The committee will include university faculty members and may include representatives from the private and government sectors.

The evaluation committee will assess applications based on program criteria and rank the applications according to merit.

Role of the board of directors

The board of directors will receive recommendations from the evaluation committee and make the final funding decisions. The board is accountable for its decisions to the government of Québec.

Role of the program manager

The program manager is responsible for ensuring that the evaluators respect the evaluation criteria and rules in effect as well as the standard rules of ethics.



Integrity of assessment process

The FRQNT board members are not involved in the scientific evaluation of funding applications, and at no time may researchers, students or institutional authorities make contact with the assessment committee chairperson or members. The FRQNT have the right to withdraw an application from competition if there is any attempt to lobby the committee or sway the evaluation process.

Every person recruited to sit on an assessment committee must comply with standard rules of confidentiality regarding the application packages, committee makeup, deliberations and  recommendations. The assessment committee chairperson, members and outside experts are required to disclose any conflicts of interest and must sign a written statement in this regard.


Awarding of the scholarships and announcement of the results

Awarding of the scholarships

The applications will be evaluated and ranked according to merit by the evaluation committee. Scholarships will be awarded based on available funds. The Fonds reserved the right to adjust the offer based on the directions set out by the board of directors.

Announcement of the results

The decision of the board of directors of the Fonds will be announced electronically in late April 2018, informing applicants directly via their e-files. Each applicant will be informed of his/her ranking and may print his/her announcement letter.

It is strictly prohibited to contact committee members, who must abide by confidentiality rules.

The decisions of the board of directors of the Fonds are final and without appeal. There is no review process.

The applicant must accept or refuse the scholarship in the ten (10) business days following the receipt of the offer by filling out the e-form in his/her Portfolio in the FRQnet website. Should an applicant fail to accept the award before the deadline, the Fonds will consider that he/she has refused it.


Terms of the scholarship

Scholarship holders must hold a Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (Québec Acceptance Certificate) (CAQ) issued by the ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion du Québec ( as well as a study permit issued by consular services that is valid for the entire study period in Québec.

Scholarship holders must respect all of the scholarship rules set out in the scholarship holder's guide.

WARNING: Please note that no scholarship payment will be done until we receive a copy by email of the study permit.

The scholarship period must begin between May 1st, 2018, and January 15th, 2019. Unless exceptional circumstances, the scholarship cannot be transferred from one year to the next. For applicants whose study program is already underway, the scholarship period will begin in May 2018.

The scholarship is not retroactive. Any semester carried out prior to summer 2018 will not be funded.

Except in special cases pertaining to part-time studies set out in the Scholarship Holder's Guide, the scholarship holder must be registered as a full-time student in the doctoral program for which the scholarship was awarded.

The scholarship is granted for the entire eligibility period, conditional upon the presentation of satisfactory progress reports.

Applicants who seek to change program, project or place of tenure must first request a written authorization from the Fonds. The Fonds will then verify whether the requested change impacts the result of the applicant's evaluation.

Value of the scholarship

The FRQSC board of directors reserves the right to modify the value of scholarships at any time, without notice, notably in accordance with the credits annually allocated by the Assemblée nationale du Québec, its strategic priorities and budgetary process.

The maximum annual value of the doctoral research scholarship for international students is 21 000 $. Within the eligibility period of twelve semesters or 48 months, a scholarship holder may receive a maximum of twelve installments for a total of 84 000 $. Each payment of up to 7 000 $ covers a period of four months or one semester. The 11th and 12th installments are conditional on the initial deposit of the thesis before the end of the 12th financed semester. Place of tenure

Scholarship holders must attend the Québec university at which they were preselected and carry out their studies or research activities in Québec or abroad in the case of a double doctoral degree.

Concurrent awards

Cumulation is prohibited with:

Awards granted by government departments and agencies and the funding agencies of the Canadian and Québec governments. 

Cumulation is allowed with:

Awards granted by the private sector, the scholarship holder's home country and universities.


Except in special cases pertaining to paid work set out in the Scholarship Holder's Guide, the scholarship holder may accept employment that does not exceed the maximum hours per semester allowed by its institution, provided that his/her research supervisor does not object and that the employment does not interfere with the research activities.

The salary that the scholarship holder receives exclusively for his/her research project is considered to be a scholarship that may be held concurrently with a doctoral research scholarship for foreign students.


False or misleading information

In accordance with the Act Respecting the Ministère du Développement Économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (R.S.Q., c. M-30.01), applicants who give false or misleading information in view of obtaining or procuring financial support is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine. If found guilty, he cannot obtain financial support for a period of five years.

Where a legal person commits an offence, every director or representative of that legal person who was aware of the offence is deemed to be a party to the offence and is liable to a fine, unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he did not acquiesce to the commission of the offence.

The Fonds reserves the right to impose any sanction or supplementary measure deemed useful, and initiate legal proceedings to obtain reimbursement of fraudulently obtained amounts and a compensation for suffered damages.

Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information

The Fonds is subject to the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information (R.S.Q., chapter A-2.1).

The applicant should contact the person in charge of access at the FRQ for information:

Responsible for access to documents and protection of personal information:

Mylène Deschênes, B.C.L., LL.B., LL.M.l

Advisor, Ethics and Legal Affairs


Research ethics and conformity

All research projects involving human subjects; biological materials; administrative,   scientific or descriptive data from human subjects; animals or animal parts, products or tissues require the approval of the research ethics board of the principal applicant's institution (Common General Rules , section 5.3 ). Furthermore, if applicable, scholarship holders must indicate on their application form any environmental impacts of their research project and employ reasonable efforts to minimize them. To that purpose, they must obtain any necessary permits and authorizations before starting the project